The Central Coast Section Swimming and Diving Championships is beginning to show its age. The boys will be celebrating the 50th section meet this weekend while the girls will be competing in the 42nd.
The annual meeting on Saturday (2:30 p.m.) at the George F. Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara will be very similar to those in the past as the Bellarmine boys go after their 31st straight team title while the Mitty girls will be challenged by Palo Alto, Gunn and a host of other former champs.
There is, however, something new as the meet speeds into a second half-century of existence.
For the first time ever, athletes will be competing for more than just section honors.
The top three finishers in each event, plus those meeting at-large qualifying standards, will advance to the inaugural CIF State Swimming & Diving Championships, presented by Farmers, set for May 22-23 at the Clovis Olympic Swim Complex at Clovis West High.
Thus, the CCS meet now becomes even more electric.
"With the state meet being new, I don't think the athletes get quite how fast and awesome it will be," said Palo Alto coach Danny Dye. "Think about it, we are the fastest state in the country. The state meet will end up being the best place for athletes to be viewed by college coaches, more so than any long course or Olympic trials."
The CCS trials on Friday (also a 2:30 p.m. start) should be very fast with making finals even more important than every before.
Bellarmine will be favored to win its 31st straight CCS team crown after Palo Alto threw a scare into the Bells last year before falling by 12 points. The Mitty girls haven't won in three years, but are back to contend for an 11th title.
"I think Mitty has depth and we are young," said Dye. "So, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. The (Paly) girls have a shot, but Mitty I think is a slight favorite."
The Paly girls last won in 2005 and have finished second four times since then. Gunn won its first and only crown in 2012. The Paly boys have finished second nine times.
CCS GIRLS' SWIM RECORDS
Event Time Name Team Year
200 medley relay 1:43.25 Sacred Heart Prep 2014
200 free 1:43.26 Jasmine Tosky Palo Alto 2012
200 IM 1:57.75 Alley Howe Sacred Heart Prep 2014
50 free 22.24 Maddy Schaefer St. Francis 2010
Diving 515.60 Alexa Cacac Milpitas 2013
100 fly 51.92p Jasmine Tosky Palo Alto 2011
100 free 48.61 Maddy Schaefer St. Francis 2010
Jasmine Tosky Palo Alto 2012
500 free 4:43.96 Jasmine Tosky Palo Alto 2009
200 free relay 1:34.16 St. Francis 2010
100 back 51.54 Ally Howe Sacred Heart Prep 2014
100 breast 1:01.50 Sarah Liang Palo Alto 2009
400 free relay 3:23.06 Gunn 2012
CCS BOYS' SWIM RECORDS
Event Time Name Team Year
200 medley relay 1:31.28 Palo Alto 2014
200 free 1:35.86 Sam Shimomura Bellarmine 2012
200 IM 1:44.90 Curtis Ogren St. Francis 2014
50 free 19.89 Shayne Fleming Valley Christian 2009
Diving 662.15 Zhipeng Zeng King's Academy 2011
100 fly 47.09 Andrew Liang Palo Alto 2014
100 free 43.71 Shayne Fleming Valley Christian 2009
500 free 4:18.26 Michael Nunan Valley Christian 2012
200 free relay 1:23.57 Bellarmine 2012
100 back 47.91 Tom Kremer SH Prep 2012
100 breast 53.81 Curtis Ogren St. Francis 2014
400 free relay 3:00.68 Saratoga 2009